Category Archives: Playing dress-ups

Julia Bobbin fabric giveaway and Vogue 1267

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Last year when we were still living in Holland I won my first ever blog giveaway from the AH.MA.ZING Julia Bobbin. It traveled all the way from Australia to Holland and then back to New Zealand. This fabric has a seriously big carbon footprint. It needed to be made into something special. Which resulted in special-induced-inertia. (We all get that with certain fabric right?!)

After a lot of thought I made a gut decision when I saw Vogue 1267. I wanted a ‘sexy’ cocktail dress for a concert I was singing at and I thought this would fit the bill: covered up and comfortable, yet quite racy in its own way.

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My thoughts on the pattern: relatively easy to sew although asymmetrical hems are just trying. (Thankfully I had the family on board to help – I’m sure they were all sick of it by the end!)

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I made no adjustments apart from changing the fitting of the side seams. I went up two sizes (Vogue patterns are notoriously small) and needed to take it in all the way except to my ‘seat’ which happens to hit at the exact same place every pattern I ever make is tapering back in from the hips (of which I have none). I then let out the side seam from this point to the hem as I knew for stage I would appreciate the extra ‘wiggle’ room!

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My only fail with this pattern was making the lining up as a toile and not taking into consideration the asymmetrical hem – oops, wrong way around! I chopped it off, turned it around and reattached it. (Don’t look on the inside!)

My only other comment was that probably the pattern and the fabric weren’t the best of friends. Probably something much more fitted and structured would have suited the satin as it really catches the light at every seam, crease, dart, fold… However that’s also what makes it a great choice for stage as it lit so well. (One of my friends in the audience remarked “It was like the lighting guy designed all the lighting just for your dress!”)

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Every wondered how people get such great photos on their blogs – I’ve used a professional!!

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New Look Workroom 6070

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It’s great to spend New Year’s Day finishing sewing a dress. It feels like I’ve already accomplished something!

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This pattern, New Look Workroom 6070 is a wee doddle to sew. I checked out some reviews online first which led to me shortening the split (SOOO high – seriously!) but not much other information. Then I measured the pattern peices and cut out a size bigger than I usually do as the pattern fits tightest through the waist where I am a full size bigger than anywhere else on my body. I’m glad I did this as I found the pattern to be uncharacteristically small for New Look. I also added a bit of length through the bodice by using 1 cm seams. I’m very happy with my new LBD and will definitely be making this pattern up again in a nice bright print.

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Recently I was approached by Firmoo to review some of their glasses frames – um very exciting!! I wear glasses for reading and have some nice plain frames, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to push the boat out a little and try something fun – red. I will be taking them in to my optometrist to get lenses put in as I think it’s time for new prescription. However you can upload a prescription on the Firmoo site too as well as shop for sunglasses or fashion frames. As an offer to my readers they are offering frames for the cost of shipping only so you can check it out here if you’re keen. I’m very happy with my new frames and look, they match my shoes!

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Joining in with my lovely and stylish sister here.

And over here for the first time:

 Show & Tell Thursday's

Wardrobe Heaven

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Today I’m sporting two looks. The first is what I wore to work, and is a summer trench coat I made with this beautiful vintage linen that I found in my sister’s stash. The pattern is Simplicity 2311. I wouldn’t recommend this pattern wholeheartedly because of the Project Runway element that gives you so many options of how to customise the pattern that it includes the fabric required for the sleeves separately on the back of the pattern. Some VERY clever cutting was required. There was also a lot of “Follow instructions 3-9 for view A” which means a lot of toing and froing with the instructions – not the simplest Simplicity I’ve ever used. However, I’m happy with the result and can see myself using the pattern again now that I’ve worked some of the bugs out.

And the second look is me unpacking our suitcases that just arrived from Holland today. Yes, I’m wearing a gnome hat. I felt a festive accessory was needed! (And it’s a La Chouffe gnome hat – a very nice boutique Belgian beer – s0 it’s not without it’s creative merit.) It was so nice to see my clothes again, and a great relief to find everything was in one piece, except the shoes which were in two pieces as God and fashion intended.

Outfit breakdown: Linen coat – handmade; jeans – Vila; pashmina scarf – Cambodia; pohutakawa earrings – Little River Gallery.

It’s my party

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It was my birthday this week. I’m a big fan of birthdays, mine and other people’s.

It was particularly good one this year (although last year wasn’t too shabby either). Drinks and morning tea with lovely friends, a family lunch with my the family where the nephews wanted to know what games we had planned. We played Musical Statues and then they popped 40 party poppers!

On the actual day my lovely husband took me out for lunch in the sunshine and gave a beautiful necklace he bought for me in Cambodia. Instead of a card he made  an acrostic poem of the entire alphabet about me. *LOVE*

Outfit breakdown:

Silk dress – second hand; belt – borrowed from Mum; tights – birthday present from one of my GFs; shoes – Number 1 (very old); necklace – birthday gift; birthday high – stylist’s own.

(Considering the need for more makeup after seeing these photos. I am getting on a bit I guess!)

Joining in over here:

Wardrobe Blues

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It’s nice to be able to finally join in with the new host of Wardrobe Wednesday, my lovely sister.

My clothing is currently on a ship wending it’s way back to New Zealand. How I miss my special friends! Consequently I’ve been wearing the same two pairs of jeans for the last four weeks and occasionally raiding my mother’s wardrobe when needed. Another perk of living with my parents. She also has one or two items in her wardrobe that I have made so they are a guaranteed fit.

This week I made a cute wee jacket. I wanted to make it from stonewashed denim but couldn’t find it ANYWHERE! Quelle horreur! So I found some nice denim-ish cotton in a somewhat checkout-chick blue and lined it with some very cute 80s fabric of my gran’s that had been languishing in my sister’s stash. Win-win. (It’s a trial run for a version I plan to make in raw silk that I bought in Cambodia. Watch this space.)

It’s not my best work as an overall outfit but I’m very happy with the jacket and my first ever lapel! Not an easy job.

Outfit breakdown:

Jacket – handmade; merino dress – handmade; longsleeve white t – secondhand; blue ballet pumps – trademe; jewelery – vintage; perky attitude – stylists own.

The benefits of unemployment

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For the last ten months I’ve been unemployed. Not by choice, but by law. But just because you aren’t allowed to earn money doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. So here’s the list of what me and my trusty sewing machine have achieved since November 2011.

For me:

2 pairs of trousers

1 pair of shorts

2 dresses

1 blouse

2 long sleeved t-shirts

4 skirts

3 sleeveless tops

2 t-shirts

1 caftan

1 tunic

3 pairs of underpants

A quilt

6 napkins

For other people:

2 dresses

1 pair of African print trousers

2 pincushions

2 embroideries

1 gardening apron

1 pair of shorts

2 blouses

6 bags

7 purses

1 baby feely-mat

1 Christmas decoration

A wallet on a strap (for under clothing) for our travels

And a garter for a bride-to-be

And I’ll be off-line and having a blogiday (blogging holiday?) for a month or so, so thanks for you support and comments over the last few months and I look forward to connecting with you from the Southern Hemisphere in September some time.

Travel wear

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My blog is rather dominated by sewing posts at the moment. Rest assured we have a song on the way, and also I will endeavour to photograph some more food soon but in the mean time please indulge my frenetic pre-emigration sewing output.

In between leaving Holland and returning to New Zealand we will be ‘on the road’ for five weeks. And a lot of that time will be spent in Cambodia. I have to confess I don’t enjoy heat! I’m not a sun-worshiper and tend to get a little testy when overheated. Part of my coping strategy is knowing when I’m going to be hot and wearing the right clothing. So I’ve been making some travel wear recently.

I’m a low-maintenance traveler. I don’t bring makeup, heels or fancy clothes with me when traveling unless I know that an evening out somewhere swish is on the cards. My travel wear reflects this. I wear shapes and colours that I might otherwise consider not my best work. Comfort at all costs is my mantra!

I got the opportunity to road test three garments from my Travel Wear ’12 collection over the last few days in the very hot and sunny city of Barcelona (try not to hate me too much!) I was very pleased with how they fared.

Pictured: Harem pants – homemade; black T – free; jandles (thongs) – free; skirt – homemade; white singlet (tank) – free; green dress – homemade; green shoes – market find; bag – vintage from a shop Antwerp. Art by Gaudi and Miro.

Linking in with ladies who are not so warm here.
Wardrobe Wednesday at SailorSpy.co.nz

Vintage leather

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I love this jacket. I bought it at Ijhallen – a massive monthly fleamarket in a warehouse in the north of Amsterdam. I haggled and haggled but the lady knew she had a wee beauty on her hands so I only managed to get € 5 off the asking price. However as much as I love it, I have to make myself wear it.I see it as a ‘piece’ rather than a jacket.

At the moment the weather is miserable. Rain every day and a quite cold for the beginning of summer. It’s perfect leather jacket weather. So I’m trying to wear it as a jacket – you know, just throw it on over the top over what I’m wearing and leave the house. I think it’s working.

Jacket – vintage; t-shirt – Vila; skirt – handmade; tights – market € 1!; boots – on sale from Ballantynes a few years ago; black pearls – gift from a friend.

Linking in here.

Wardrobe Wednesday at SailorSpy.co.nz

Sewing with Inge

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I have a lovely next door neighbour. We have lots of fun sewing together and sharing our projects. It’s nice.

Last week we made a bag that she had seen on a blog she liked and we decided to have a go with some of the fabric from the great influx of May. Here are some photos of our progress.

I am wearing: Jeans – Vila; tank – homemade; cardi – Jason King in Utrecht; necklace – up-cycled vintage earring of my Gran’s; smile – stylists own.

Inge has also decided to have a blog too and you can see it here. It means At Home with Inge – it’s in Dutch, but you’ll get an idea in Google Translate.

Linking in here with Southern Hemisphere belles.


Wardrobe Wednesday at SailorSpy.co.nz

Wardrobe Wednesday – my denim philosophy

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Although I like to think I’m one of those people who wears original outfits everyday in actuality I mainly wear jeans. With this in mind a few years ago, I started to buy expensive jeans thinking it was a good move price per wear. But I discovered something: expensive jeans do not equate to better quality jeans or more stylish jeans or even more ethical jeans. Now I buy jeans I like.

While on an unplanned detour at a train station in January this year I bought a very cheap pair of jeans at a shop called Vila and I have LIVED in them. So now I know we will not be staying here (a long story for another day) I thought, maybe I should get another pair. And guess what, they had a deal if you bought two pairs – so I bought two hence the slightly unconventional colour.

I think I will get a lot a value for wear from these under €30 jeans!

Outfit breakdown:

Top: hand made; jeans: Vila; boots: TradeMe; necklace: old earring of my grandmother’s. Rosy cheeks: homemade with a good scrubbing in the shower!

Linking in here

Wardrobe Wednesday at SailorSpy.co.nz